I had a martial arts instructor who was big into the supernatural (and utterly false) side of martial arts. He used to say frequently and with great conviction, “When you’re chi is strong enough you can block any incoming strike.”
I thought it was plausible. I was young, and all I knew about martial arts was gleaned from over the top movies. He was my superior, both in age and skill. He was a 4th degree black belt and knew far more than I did. So I dutifully took his word for it.
But lies, even the lies we tell ourselves, will hurt the liar in the end.
Asked to help with a demonstration I was pulled up to the front of the class to issue a strike towards my sensei which he would expertly block, and parry.
So he instructed me, “High punch, aim for my nose.”
“Yes sensei” I replied.
I punched. There was a loud “thwap” followed by a deafening silence.
I had broken his nose.
….so much for his chi.